After thinking about what to do with the kitchen floor for some time, we settled on using 12 inch marble and granite tiles in a diagonal checkerboard design. Before we got to thinking of marble and granite, we did have the checkerboard pattern in mind and were thinking of using a vinyl floor. White subway tile, stainless steel counters and black and white floor does sound nice, right! However, a vinyl tile floor of this design proved harder to find than we first had anticipated, and thinking more and more we wanted to use natural materials, we started to search for other options. After a visit to a nearby flooring store we started pondering using black and white ceramic tile to accomplish the same effect. But, as I absolutely adore Carrera marble, I started thinking about how great it would be to use this stone for the floor, and what better stone to choose for contrast other than black granite? The checkerboard pattern feels classic and retro at the same time, however going for nicer materials as opposed to vinyl made the idea even more appealing.
So, the search started to find appropriate tiles. At Home Depot we first found very reasonably priced polished granite and marble tiles for $6/square foot (this was cheaper than all ceramic tiles we had looked at previously!) Concerned that a polished surface might be too slippery for an area such as the kitchen, we decided to try to find honed stone instead (this is after we first thought about how to make a polished surface less slippery... the method we had in mind involved torching each tile with a blow torch, however we eventually abandoned that idea!)
Home Depot does carry honed marble at their webiste, so we ordered it from them. However, they do not carry honed granite, so we ordered that from a local tile store instead. The price difference was about double to order from the local store as opposed to Home Depot - however whereas the product from Home Depot got here after two weeks or so, the granite from our local place got delivered to our door after three days, so you get what you pay for...
Since our kitchen is pretty small we decided to lay the tiles down diagonally to create a larger effect, and even though this does require a bit more annoying cuts, it does create a whole other look as opposed to laying them down straight.
So, that's how it came to why we choose granite and marble tile to put down in a checkerboard design in the kitchen and the nearby utility (laundry) room.